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The asset management sector in the UK is very competitive, but not very price competitive. This apparent paradox runs through the FCA’s report on asset management, but is never adequately recognised or explained. But only by acknowledging it can regulators help to create an industry which works better for investors and for the economy as a whole.
Uber's superior service threatens London's black-cab drivers, just as (my namesake) John Kay's flying shuttle eventually led to rebellion by out-of-work Luddites in the 19th century. The losers from such innovations should in some circumstances be compensated. But restricting competition is against the public interest.
Both the leading candidates for the leadership of Britain’s opposition Labour party have now committed themselves to renationalising the country’s railways. But the state-owned British Rail was one if the most reviled institutions in the UK, and privatisation has delivered many relative benefits.
Michael Porter warned on the danger of being “stuck in the middle”. Companies, he said, must either gain a cost advantage or emphasise product differentiation. But what really matters is enjoying a competitive advantage in the market position you choose.
Established companies in all industries are inhibited in their response to radical change by vested interests inherent in their existing business models. Now, in publishing, it's time for the author to be placed where he or she should be - in charge.
Limited competition may actually yield worse results for customers than either full-blooded competition or a cartel. Perhaps that explains the particularly tentative approach of the Competition and Markets Authority.
Just as dammed water finds new channels of escape, crowdfunding seems to provide a way around the blockage.
If I had a million pounds for every time I have heard a possible reform opposed because “it wouldn’t have prevented Northern Rock or Lehman Brothers going bust”, I might now have enough money to bail out a bank.
Modern life involves complex and multidimensional products. It is perhaps inevitable that price structures appear similarly complex and multidimensional.
Humans have always found it hard to cope with the idea that every individual has a lifespan even as life itself goes on. The idea of a natural life cycle for a business, or industrial centre, is even more difficult to accept.